A tube story...


Two scenes from the tube did a job on me tonight.

The first one was from a documentary called "Iraq's missing millions".
Yes you guessed right. It referred to the 20 Billion Dollars of Iraqi money that simply evaporated during Bremer's "governance" of the "new" Iraq.
The 20 Billion dollars of Iraqi money that were meant to "reconstruct" Iraq.

The program filmed a hospital in Diwaniya, the Southern part.
This was no hospital, this looked like a run down insalubrious toilet. No hospital sheets, no curtains, no medication, no oxygen masks, no surgical gloves, no intravenous serums...

In something that looked like an ancient non-functional incubator, laid Zahra, an infant girl and not too far, Abbas, her twin infant brother.

Zahra looked blue black, the colors of asphyxiation. She lacked Vitamin K and some other drug. She was terribly malnourished. She lacked air, she lacked life.

The doctor had no oxygen mask. He pressed a long thick tube, the only one available, against her tiny nostrils, trying to insert bits of it, hoping to give her some oxygen, hoping to revive her ever slowing heart beat.

Zahra's father was absent. He went searching for the drug and the vitamin K on the black market. Zahra's father had to pay for them from his own pocket.
By the time he made it back to the hospital and despite the doctor's best efforts, Zahra was gone.

The doctor told Zahra's grandmother: "This infant is finished".
The following day, Abbas, her twin brother was finished too.

Zahra's father rushes in with two ampoules of Vitamin K. It was too late.
Someone hands him a cardboard box. Zahra's face is covered with a tiny piece of cloth and placed in the box. Just like that.

A cardboard box. You know the one you store your shoes in, or your old newspapers, or any junk you want to eventually get rid of. In the "new" Iraq, infants are placed in those boxes.


The second scene was from Guantanamo. You know Gitmo Bay, your seaside resort.
380 "prisoners" are still with no trial. Many of them are on hunger strike.
One of them is Sami al-Hajj, a sudanese cameraman working for Al Jazeera. Married, father of small boy.

Sami Al-Hajj amongst others, has been in Gitmo for over three years now and still no charges and no trial.
Sami has been on a hunger strike for 100 days already.

One of the lawyers in charge of Sami's "case" gave a demonstration of how Sami and others are force fed by the democratic american authorities there.

They take the "detainee", strap him with leather belts to a sturdy wooden chair. Tie his arms, feet and head, paralyzing any movement.

A 1 meter long tube is then thrust into the "detainee's" nostrils, with no anesthesia of course, past his larynx, through his oesophagus right into his stomach and the food is thus forcefully ingested.

This "procedure" is repeated twice a day.
Sami Al-Hajj has been undergoing this tubal "nourishment" twice a day for 100 days.


Zahra and Sami have much in common. They are Arab "speaking", muslims, brown skinned and share the same "tube" destiny.

In fact they were both caught in the american dark, tight, tunnel of torture with no end in sight...as if trying to live through an interminable tube...

Yes that's it, "Life" in a tube.

Painting: Iraqi artist, Hamid Al-Attar.

Comments

landsker said…
Salaam,
So much sadness Layla. Your people have been attacked and desecrated without sound reason, and the world is aware.
The world, as far as I know, will no longer buy american shoes or clothes, american food is unwanted, and their motor cars are unsold, their country has very few tourists, and almost no investors.
The price of their houses and land is falling, crime is rising.
A few years ago, the american dollar was exchanged for less than one euro, now it needs almost three dollars to buy two euros.
Some american people are fed up too, with corruption and lies, and there is no-one who can help them, there is evil and good in all.
George Soros, the financier has called for an end to the american support for Israel.
Will anyone listen?

The world is waiting for the american nation to collapse, as it surely must.
Until then, we who are not in Iraq, or Guantanamo can actively seek out american products and boycott them.

Not one dollar more,
For that american whore.
Anonymous said…
A dollar is too much, my friend- not a cent more.
And even if that meant my death, I will gladly invite it ..

With dignity.

Layla, keep spreading the message. May it find the day to their hearts one day.

Your writings bring tears to my eyes, not because they tell of the human tragedy that our lives have become. But because I know you speak the truth.

Speaking of boycotts, I've repeatedly thought of boycotting your blog. It brings too much sadness to my heart and God only knows I don't need more of that.
I keep coming back for more,though.
I need that awful dose of the horrible reality to keep me sobre in this life.
To keep waking me up, when the power of their lies start hypnotizing me

God bless, sis.
G.Gar said…
I think it is Arabs who should be placed in shoe-boxes!

The Iraqui resistance will pull off the tube at the end of the tunnel. The train is more than half the way through, on its way out.
Anonymous said…
Very well said, Landsker! I agree with you and people the world over are looking at America and Americans with disgust and loathing. The rape of Iraq has shown the world how spineless this nation is, and how ignorant illiterate they really are.

The boycott of the American dollar by the entire world is very much overdue.
Anonymous said…
arab woman shoes
Anonymous said…
Layla

I have seen the same program and i felt very sad when i saw little zahra gasping for air , her face almost purple . America could have flooded the country with medicine supplies and medicine to help this country (especially after 12 horrible years of sanctions) that is if was serious about liberating the Iraqis .

I also saw that "so called hospital that lacked everything a hospital should look like , yet 4 millions has just been spent to refurbish it where did it go? the toilets were still leaking , the surgery room (with no equipment) was infested with coachroaches etc...

Thank you layla for speaking about Sami AL Haj , he has been forgotten by many . Yet America tries to teach us about Free Press and the freedom of journalists . Had he been embedded to show only the fire works of shock and awe he would he alright , and free like Faux News , but he was was showing parents picking up limbs and arms from under the rubble . sami had to pay .
Anonymous said…
Can I share this beautiful Video with you guys , Please please watch it , you wont regrett the time spent watching it .

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aiRugtbQGA8
Anonymous said…
Anyone interested to watch Little zahra and all the chaos and missing billions , see the video

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3904382605215032226
LostHere said…
As always Layla, I thank you for your well written and heart wrenching words, but please allow me to respond to some of the comments posted here.
See, the way I see it, I respectfully disagree with the thought that american people are sooo bad. In the US there is people of all kinds, good people, very good people, bad people, stupid people, etc., not different from any other country, really. Perhaps one difference is the amount of "sheeply" people that we do have here, but in their defense it could be said that they have been "lobotomized" by half century of the most powerful propaganda machine ever envisioned... so, yes we can often be bystanders to all act of aggression everywhere, including domestic ones.
What is happening in Iraq right now, is both more of the same, and different too. Different because nothing is ever the same and people's suffering, tragedy, can never be compared to similar acts anywhere. The pain of Iraq, the tragedy, murdering, that Iraq is now suffering has nothing to do with nothing else in history, it is just one more step of this murdering giant that has been the US throughout its short history.
That said, and to get back in track, sure I say, boycott all you want, I personally welcome it, but don't think for a minute that you can do it easily. The corporate capital (witch in my opinion is the root of so much of the imperial damage this country inflicts everywhere) has long tentacles weaved in most economies all over the world and therefore almost immune. They reap the benefits and the american people get the rap for all the maladies.
In short, think what ever you want, but it is not the people, the "american people" as you refer to, that are at the heart of Iraq's troubles, nor could the american people really change the direction of their government policies. Democracy here is not so very different from the dictatorship of Franco, perhaps even Saddam, although I am not comparing them both.
One more thing, when we talk about american people, I know that often it is used to refer to the people of the USA, but please keep in mind that America is from the North Pole to Patagonia, and all its inhabitants are Americans, notwithstanding the fact that the big US of A seems to appropriate the term.
Thank you Layla for allowing me to rant on your own space.
Layla Anwar said…
not jr,

an arab woman shoes that would delight in squashing that roach head of yours under her heels...
Layla Anwar said…
lost here,

Hello and I hear you...
Obviously not ALL americans are alike, there is the good, the bad and the ugly, metaphorically speaking of course...
However, please tell me did the sanctions and the uranium, neutron and cluster bombs differentiate between the good, the bad and ugly Iraqis?
Who the americans are and who they are not is ultimately their problem not mine...remember I, my family, my loved ones , my country, my people are on the receiving end here.
And never in history at least contemporary history, so many crimes have been committed against a people to the deafening silence of the world...
Layla Anwar said…
lost here ,

one more thing...Until this very day I read that this "war" has not managed to mobilize the same opposition as during vietnam...
It seems it is "not pictoral enough to capture the imagination of the American people"...
So please don't ask me for sympathy, I have none...
LostHere said…
Yes Layla, I understand and I was not asking for simpathy, not yours or anyone elses. Actually my coment was in a form of dialog responding to Landsker and Little Deer... from you I would not bother to ask you to take exception and diferenciate between good, bad, or ugly... in fact, when you generalize in your writtings I understand. I don't have any problem with it, you write your feelings and I choose to read them, and to be honest I feel much ritcher than I have the oportunity to read them.
And since I am responding to you now, let me say that as you often do, you hit it right on the head when you said "never in history at least contemporary history, so many crimes have been committed against a people to the deafening silence of the world..."
Yes, it is the rest of the world that is silent, or even more than silent, they are acomplices.

Once again Layla, I am not interested in simpathy. I know who I am and what responsability I share.

Thank you for the forum.
Czar
Anonymous said…
Thank you for the Geography lesson, Losthere – although most of us do know our Geography and what goes on in the world. Perhaps I (and others, too) should have been a little more explicit when referring to America in relation to Iraq: it’s that piece of land (stolen from the American Indians, I may add) between the borders of Canada and Mexico (land stolen there, too). Now, that I have made myself very clear, with due respect, I wish to address a few points you have made. Saying that Americans have been ‘lobotomised’ by propaganda is no longer credible or acceptable. While everyone knows about the compromised media in that land, internet is accessible to everyone, down to the most remote village in the world. That's how the rest of the world is enlightened. Surely, are Americans not curious to know more about what is being done in their names? Or are they so immersed in themselves, that there is no time for anyone else but their own selfish selves? A simple visit to internet would tell American people that Iraq has been pillaged and raped through a war of a aggression based on LIES; thousands upon thousands of Iraqis killed and maimed; further thousands and thousands have been made refugees, escaping the violence in THEIR land with just the clothes on their backs; further thousands upon thousands made homeless within Iraq through the wanton destruction of their homes; children suffering from unimaginable trauma through what they witness daily, thanks to the occupation of their land by AMERICANS; those left behind in Iraq are prisoners in their homes because it’s too dangerous to be outside; those who do venture out do not know if they will return home alive; a SOVEREIGN nation has been destroyed; it’s elected leader so viciously murdered in full view of the entire world; holy places desecrated; Abu Ghraib, where horrors beyond imagination have been perpetrated towards innocent Iraqis by AMERICAN soldiers (or rabid animals, which is a more appropriate description), Iraqi women raped and burnt beyond recognition, their homes ransacked and precious valuables stolen by the HEROIC AMERICAN SOLDIERS; no electricity, no water, no medicines, no hospitals, no schools, people suffering from all forms of cancer, thanks to the depleted uranium scattered so generously by America (and Britain),and which will remain in Iraqi soil for generations to come; professionals being murdered every day – need I go on?

When, despite the cruel sanctions, imposed by America (and its sidekick), I should add, Iraq had a highly educated people,a wonderful health care system, nobody went hungry, and people were SAFE. What is happening today is a cruel gift from those who were ELECTED by the American people, and this plunder continues to this moment. And WHO do these war criminals represent? And you expect your excuses to be accepted? To add insult to injury, the whole of American came to a standstill when 32 students were killed by someone who has been aclimatised to the culture of gun crime and violence predominant in America – while, at the same time, 350 people were dying in Baghdad, thanks to America opening the gates of hell? While I don’t condone the killing of anyone, I am forced to ask a simple question: Are Iraqi lives worth less than American? Do these so-called 'lobotomised' Americans not see death and destruction beyond their borders, all done in their names? Or is the sorrow selective? If there is an outcry to stop the war, it is only because of the high rate of casualties among American soldiers and not because of Iraqis dying….

As for the dollar, hopefully, nations which are on the rise will be able to get rid of this vile currency that is responsible for so much death and destruction all over the world. Yes, the tentacles of the corporate world are spread all over, but there’s still hope. Already, some of their representatives are falling, as we witness what is going on at the World Bank as we write.

Strength can never be determined by wealth, power, greed, the glorification of violence and bullying of weaker nations. We all know about Samson and Goliath. Hopefully, our generation will witness the rise of a Samson which will rid the world of terrible Goliath, once and for all, so that peace finally reigns worldwide. For too long, the world has tolerated American arrogance, when it is really a pathetic nation with no soul. Iraqis are now being told that America is 'running out of patience' because of the carnage on the streets - how ridiculous, when it is America which is the CAUSE of all this horror? How LOW can someone stoop to make this comment?

Ignorance can never be an excuse – it is something to be viewed with disgust and contempt, and in relation to Iraq, utter repulsion.

Perhaps trying to spend a day in the life of an Iraqi may cure this constant attempt to exonerate Amican peoples' complicity in the destruction of Iraq. Every American hand is covered in innocent Iraqi blood, whether they want to accept it or not.
Anonymous said…
no need for such senseless nastiness layla anwar
Anonymous said…
To better understand the incredible disconnect between the daily and unrelenting horror that is taking place in Iraq, one only had to watch the American MSM this past week.
While the 32 people murdered at Virginia Tech was sad, it was only a microcosm of what takes place at least several times a day in Iraq.

While Americans were aghast and shocked by the VT spectacle, most of them seem to be removed from reality concerning the amount of murder and mayhem taking place in Iraq 24/7, 365 days a year.
All courtesy of our tax dollars at work.

Until the draft is restored and Chip and Buffy start getting their orders to report, it will be business as usual in Amerika.

Americans think that when 32 of our types get killed, why, by god, that's horrible.

But when close to 700,000 Iraqi's--since 2003 alone--get murdered, well, that's a statistic.
LostHere said…
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa…

It was not a geography lesson, little deer, but rather a comment on something that bothers me often, that is, the usurpation of the term American by the people of the US. Being Spanish myself I identify with my American brothers and sisters from all of Latin America.They are American people!

I must admit I have no argument with what you say, in fact I sadly agree with you in everything, at least in substance… Most of the argument you make are the same arguments I make with people here. Yes, I do need to be informed, and I do have historical memory, something that it is in very short supply here, in this land of parrots

Yes, I could tell you that in my believe, blaming the people is of no consequence, because it is not the people who make any difference one way or the other, or at least not the majority of the people, not in the short term anyway, but that is just my believe, I understand when other people feel different.

Yes, I agree with you that not being informed is no longer credible or acceptable, well actually it is very credible, but not acceptable. Believe me this is one country of very uninformed people, but not because information is not available, of course, it is perhaps just arrogance, the arrogance of being “Americans” we don’t need to know more… we are the best, and all that crap…
When you rhetorically ask, and I quote "Surely, are Americans not curious to know more about what is being done in their names? Or are they so immersed in themselves, that there is no time for anyone else but their own selfish selves?" I would be embarrassed to answer...

I would like to ask you, do you think the people here in the states have any control over their destiny? Do you think that they have any say, any true influence on how our government acts? because if you truly think that, perhaps there is a bridge in Brooklyn that I would love to sell you…

Oh yes, I am sure David sometimes wins, but not often…unfortunately.

I must admit, I am not as optimistic as you are, and although I do agree that nothing this evil have a right to exist, unfortunately this is the world we live in, and I doubt I will ever live to see peace in humanity. Hell, I am not sure I believe humanity knows how to live in peace.


Peace to you
Czar
Anonymous said…
Sorry, a typing error there: I meant 'utter revulsion", not repulsion.

Yes, I agree, the world watches this in silence, and silence means consent. This is primarily due to compromised leaders, who have been bullied into silence by America - we all know what happened at the UN, prior to the invasion and occupation of Iraq - weak governments were even bribed to support America's lies. However, the truth on the ground is that the majority of people worldwide, outside US, see this as a huge crime against humanity but are unable to do anything as long as those in power are serving the world bully.

Yes, the entire world is an accomplice through its silence, but who is the main culprit in all this? Who is committing this crime? How many representations are there from the world body on the ground in Iraq? Please don't try to spread the blame - accept the truth for what it is. Only the truth sets one free, and as long as one views it through rose coloured glasses, pretending that the WORLD is to blame, Iraq and Iraqis will never see justice.

Seeing where an individual's responsibility lies is no longer enough. It requires positive action, whatever the personal cost, where the truth is told without any sugar coating, however bitter.

Thank you, Layla, for allowing me the opportunity to air my views.
Anonymous said…
Little Deer,
Wow, you are so right. The Americans in "HIGH" place don't care at all as long as the dollar stops in their hand. The news releases here in america show only what the rich want the rest to see and know.

As Greg stated 32 die here and its hell but when it comes to other nations and peoples they cold give a shit less. Excuse me but, "Fuck that! We are all people of the Great Creator and the vaule of all peoples are important not just the "whites".

It's time for america to get it's shit together, for all people.
Layla and Little Deer I love you and bless you my sisters.

Savage American Warrior
Anonymous said…
Thank you for your response, Losthere. I see your point of view, and am very curious about your comment on the use of 'America'. If Layla doesn't mind it, I'd appreciate it if you would elaborate. I guess the correct term would be U.S. of A? Personally, I have always identified the South as LATIN America, beautiful lands with equally beautiful people - who have also been victims of the barbarians from the North (excluding Canada!).

Yes, I am optimistic, despite all the horrors we witness, because I believe in the Iraqi Resistance. If it was not for them, Iraq would be a completely different story today. It's the only group in the entire world which has not allowed the U.S. to have its way. The "U.S.Ans" are crippled in Iraq, whichever way they turn, and they know it. Yes, we may never live to see peace among humanity, but I sincerely pray that we live to see the liberation and independence of Iraq - Iraqis deserve nothing less. Through this, we may witness a change in the balance of power, and it may be the beginning of peace.

SAW, thank you for your comments, and I agree with you.
LostHere said…
With your permission Layla...

In reality Little Deer, my point is basically inconsequential, especially in this blog that talks of such serious matters, but I will explain. As I said, I can't stand how the US Americans (and that is the term I use for them. I am also a naturalized citizen of this country, but that does not make me an US American, just a citizen), and the nation in general always usurps everything as if they are the only ones that matter.

This is a country of hyphenated americans, African-americans, Polish-americans, Native-Americans, Arab-americans, etc., so if they called thenselves Anglo-americans, I would give them that, but NOOOO! they are AMERICANS!. Well, I say, Fuck that. if they say americans to me, I want to know where from... I refuse to play their game.
I am not familiar with how it come about, historically, that they appropriated the name of the continent as their nation's name... perhaps by design thinking of the future, I don't know, but it is never going to be that way...

Anyway, the way I see it, if I was supposed to just follow, I would have been born a sheep (or an "american", hehe!), but I was neither, so I follow what I think is right.

Of course, I am not into preaching, everyone will do what it wants if they have the will to it, or what they are told if not... but I will ask you to consider, when talking about the people of this nation, the US, let's call them US Americans... it is just more specific and it does not include our Latin American brothers and sisters.

As for my views on Iraq, well, no doubt the US is committing the most grave crimes against humanity there. It has been against all rules of law from the start. Who gives the right to a bully regime to overthrow the regime of a different sovereign country?
As for everything else that is going on in Iraq, I am aware of a patriotic resistance. More and more I am aware of the tremendous job that Saddam Hussein was doing in that nation. I can see why Layla, you, and so many other people think of him as a great patriot... and a martyr.
More than that, I can not say. I was not that aware of Iraq before 1990, besides historically of course, and I don't understand all the complexities of what is happening there now, besides the obvious, that is, the US opened the gates of hell there and its people, all Iraqis, are going through unfathomable sorrows...

My heart is with them and I wish for a prompt native solution.
Anonymous said…
Hi,

I'm working over at MobLogic, and we have a show up today about Sami al-Haj, an Al Jazeera journalist who's been in Guantanamo for five years without being charged. Our host, Lindsay Campbell went out on the streets to ask about the prisoner, Al Jazeera's possible ties to Al Qaeda, and the lack of due process at Guantanamo. (http://www.moblogic.tv/video/2008/03/21/i-say-al-jazeera-you-say-al-qaeda/)

Come check it out if you're interested. We also have al-Haj's story up on our blog post today. (http://www.moblogic.tv/blog/2008/03/21/prisoner-345/)

We really think this is a story that hasn't been told in American media, and we want to hear your opinion on it.

Thanks so much for your time,
Amanda Elend
moblogic.tv

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